Tag Archives: nonfiction prose

The Biggest Secret of Success.

to be successful is what each and every other person aspires in life. However, only a few people fully achieve it. What brings about their success? What is their biggest secret in succeeding? You must have noticed that i started this paragraph with the ellipsis. This is because there are many secrets to success but only one will be covered in this article which according to me, is the biggest. Firstly, let me get out of the topic a little in order to give a brief history about myself(this is not meant to discourage you from reading but to give a little knowledge about the author).

My name is Stephen M. Mutuku. Am 21 years old and a college student. Am a Kenyan and i come from a remote village in Machakos County called Masaw’a. I was born just three months after my dad suffered a terrible accident in the hands of thugs, when he was working as a night watchman in a certain security company which i won’t disclose its name for security purposes. My mom is a housewife. After my dad’s accident, she resulted to working as a home servant so as to win bread for the family.

When i joined primary school, my teachers of English would always keep on telling me that, “success does not come on a silver plata.” I had no clue about what a plata was but i perceived that it was a plate. Then i would say to myself, “if it doesn’t come on a silver plata, it will come on a plastic one.” (since we had no silverware in our house and still we do not have). I thought i would get success because we only had plastic plates in our house.

Now my dad would tell me that all his children would make it to higher institutions of learning. He always said that none of his children would drop out of school for lack of fees like him(he dropped when he was in form two). He said he would provide the fees and none of us would be sent home for it(that time he was very poor, not that he is rich now). I can tell you he is fulfilling that dream since three of us are in college enrolled under the self-sponsored program, one of my sisters is in high school and our last-born will be sitting for her Primary education certificate this year.

Back to the topic, the biggest secret to success as i mentioned before is self acceptance and perception. Have you accepted yourself the way you are? Do you judge yourself according to your own perception or according to the way other people see you?  Judging yourself from other people’s point of view can be the greatest weapon against your success. I know of a very beautiful girl whose hands and legs were lame, she committed suicide because her friends told her that she could do nothing for herself and that she could never get a husband and establish her own family the way she was.She believed what her friends thought about her was the truth. It’s a pity that she couldn’t believe what the bible says in the book of  proverbs.


As mentioned in the previous paragraph, you have to accept yourself the way you are. Know that am like this and this is what i can do. Know what you want from what you want to do. Do you want to create impact or do you want to impress? If you want to impact, then i must tell that you have already succeeded even before you execute your plan, and you shall impress a lot of people along the way. It might look impossible but don’t die heart because that is how it looks until it is done. But if your main goal of initiating your plan/project is to impress, then i also must tell you that you failed in your first step and if you still wish to succeed, then you must go back to the starting point and correct the mistake.



As for me, i have accepted myself the way i am and i don’t judge myself from other people’s point of view. I know who i am and what i want. I can remember when i topped my class in standard five, one boy coming from a rich family in our village told me that i was wasting my time working hard and that i would rot in poverty just like my father was in that time. He said that it was better if i went to his father to give me a job as a herds-boy so that i could at-least buy some clothes for myself(that time, the only clothes i had was the school uniform, a pair of patched shorts and a old rusty button-less shirt). Do you know what i replied? I lifted my head high and said to him, “success does not come in a silver plata, it comes in plastic ones and we have lots of those in our house,” then i left him there just laughing at me. And to tell you the truth, that guy dropped out of school, not because he lacked school fees but because he did not take his studies seriously and every-time we did a test, he was always among the last five bottom students and he could not stand it any longer.



Lastly, i would like to tell you of a serious chat i had yesterday with a friend before i published the poem, “There is no String Left…” His name is Kensam King’ang’i Muiruri(he also blogs in WordPress. His blog name is, “Words That Hunt”). He is a budding poet and he was telling me that he had lots of poems which he will post soon. Then i told him that i had just published the poem i quoted in the second sentence of this paragraph. He asked me why i couldn’t write another and publish it together with the one quoted above. Do you know what i told him? This was it, “i am not in a rush, i write to impact not to impress.” He was so thankful at the end and that chat is what led me to write this article. Yes, i know that i have not yet become a successful writer but i know that my work is creating impact to all those who access/read it and i know that am still in the right path to success…..

© Stephen M. Mutuku

Image rights

  1.  First image belongs to divinewalls.com
  2. Second image belongs to designdady.com
  3. Third image belongs to fueldabook.com